India has started the supply of COVID vaccines to its neighbouring and key partner countries. India yesterday dispatched the COVID Vaccines to Bhutan and Maldives under the Vaccine Maitri initiative. 

External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar said that Vaccine Maitri has begun and the consignment reached Bhutan. Mr Jaishankar said it is another example of the country's Neighbourhood first policy.

Bhutan's Foreign Minister Tandi Dorji expressed profound gratitude to India for the generous gift of 1,50,000 doses of Covishield vaccines developed by Serum Institute of India(SII). Mr Dorji thanked India for its abiding friendship and unconditional support to Bhutan’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

Maldives Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid said, the country is happy to receive as grant of one lakh doses of SII developed Covishield. Mr Shahid said, as always, India stands strong and steadfast with Maldives as the first responder in any crisis.

Prime minister Narendra Modi said, India is deeply honoured to be a long-trusted partner in meeting the healthcare needs of the global community.  

In a statement issued yesterday, the Ministry of External Affairs said, Government had received several requests for the supply of Indian manufactured vaccines from neighbouring and key partner countries. It said, supplies have begun under grant assistance to Bhutan, Maldives, Bangladesh, Nepal, Myanmar and Seychelles.

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